The Chhattisgarh government, which has set a target to purchase 11 million tonnes of paddy in the current kharif marketing season, will begin procurement at the minimum support price (MSP) from its foundation day on November 1.
Chhattisgarh, which is paying Rs 2,500 per quintal to farmers, is the highest contributor of rice to the central pool after Punjab and Telangana.
The difference of the amount with that fixed by the Centre is paid as bonus under the Bhupesh Baghel government’s flagship scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana. It was introduced in 2019 to provide financial assistance to paddy-growing farmers.
Recently, the government transferred Rs 1,745 crore to the accounts of 2.4 million farmers. Since the scheme’s inception, farmers have been paid Rs 16,416.10 crore, including the third instalment that was released on October 23.
“So far, about 2.462 million farmers have registered for the current kharif marketing year, including 60,878 new registrations,” Chhattisgarh’s Food Secretary Topeshwar Verma said. New registration and rectification work that started on July 1 will continue till October 31, he said, adding that all preparations and arrangements have been completed to ensure smooth procurement.
The state-run Chhattisgarh Marketing Federation (MarkFed) is the nodal agency for procurement. The volume of paddy has increased by over 12 per cent from last year’s 9.79 million tonnes.
The maximum limit for paddy procurement at MSP is set at 15 quintals per acre. Necessary arrangements for gunny bags have been made and nodal officers appointed at the district level for monitoring procurement operations, Verma said.
The officials have been directed to keep a watch on any freights of illegal paddy being pushed into the state. A special vigilance would be kept at all the identified sensitive procurement centres.
Verma said the software for paddy procurement has been updated and a trial run of the same would be carried out soon. The training session for operating the systems would start soon as well, an official said.